If you can layer your expectation management with applying for a good range of (well-qualifed) roles you don’t have your eggs in one basket. If you also understand that the no’s or lack of feedback are often not about you at all, you are less wedded to the outcome for each job. Having these three tactics under your belt gives you your power back.
Here are my final tips for layering on the finishing touches thatmake rejection a gift.
Ask for Feedback
When you are turned away for a position always ask how you can improve for the future.
The accepted way to do this is: email the in-house recruiter or hiring manager, thank them for their time and ask if a 5-minute debriefing with the hiring manager might be possible. This will only work if you’ve had an interview with them.
Written feedback might not be company policy but if you say you only need five minutes for feedback, their expectations are managed that there is no agenda and it will be a quick call. If you’ve taken the time to go and meet them, it is important for their reputation as well: their employee value proposition – the mix of characteristics & benefits of working in an organisation – that you have a good process that ends well. So don’t be afraid to ask.
This does two things a) gives you your learns from the process and b) establishes them as a contact going forward. They may also refer you in their network.
It is the sign of a mature, astute professional to ask for feedback in a measured, elegant way. Hiring managers will remember you from how you handle it.
And by incorporating this type of learning into your job search process, you’ll be able to continually position yourself as a stronger candidate in the future and build a contact. Great networking you!
Keep Honing the Elevator Pitch and Accept the Gift of Rejection.
Change your story. Resolve to blow your next interview out of the water. By the time you’ve secured the right role, you will have forgotten about the poxy one where they never came back to you or found someone else.
Revisit your pitch. Log all of your accomplishments and contributions, and develop key stories about times when you overcome an obstacle in the past. You might talk about when you stepped up to lead a project, how you landed new business, or even the skills you used to resolve a sticky office situation.
Much like coping skills, determination is a quality that none of us enjoy practicing. However, it can be the difference between success and failure throughout your life. The best way to build determination is to face obstacle after obstacle and keep your eyes on the goal. If there are no obstacles to face, you will never get to build your capacity for focus and sense of resilience.
Remember if you got into an interview process you have potentially also built your network for another job in the company. I was rejected from my dream company when I came over from Australia so I cut my teeth in the London market elsewhere and then within six months was working for the company that hadn’t thought I was right the first time.
At the end of the first “failed” interviews, I asked if I could stay in touch as I built up my experience. I kept the communication lines open and they ended up hiring me within a year!
“Fall down seven times, stand up eight” says the proverb.
The whole point is to come back better, wiser, stronger, more in touch with who we are and attract the right opportunity – not to avoid any painful opportunities for growth.
Congratulate yourself for taking up the challenge right now and getting back on your horse. Better equipped, more informed and more focused on the right opportunity. Remember, you are culling just as much as hiring managers in this process!
I really believe that taking action is the best strategy for leaving rejection behind.
Questions to ask yourself whilst in this wonderful growth mindset:
“What do I need to understand this process better? What is this process showing me? How can I use this to take me to the next level? How can I healthily relieve the stress buildup this situation is causing? How can I turn this into a positive experience?”
Last but not least:
“Is there anyone else I can involve on this journey?”
Resilient people often enlist others in their success, asking for feedback and help when they need it.
Answers to these questions, combined with the resilience you have built up is the gift the rejection gave you.